Presidential candidate Prime Minister Ersin Tatar has asked Britain to support the two-state solution in Cyprus.
Speaking to the UK ‘Sunday Express’, Prime Minister Tatar voiced the demand for direct flights to London to support 20,000 British citizens living in the north of the island and to improve the economy of North Cyprus and the tourism sector.
Tatar said Brexit had created an opportunity to end the deadlock on the divided island.
The ‘Sunday Express’ noted that Greece and Southern Cyprus were also members of the European Union, where Britain was previously a member, and that Britain had been prevented from making any decisive intervention for fear of retaliation.
Stating that efforts to agree on a federal solution have been ongoing for 45 years and have failed and that “forced” marriage cannot be successful, Tatar said, “We are different. We speak Turkish, they are Greek. We are Muslims, they are Christians. New generations do not know each other. A child who was 10 years old in 1974 is 55 years old today and they have grandchildren. We are separate now”.
“We can use this opportunity to help the Turkish Cypriots, since the UK now leaves the European Union”, said Tatar, adding that direct flights to the UK can lead to growth in tourism.
“More than 300,000 Turkish Cypriots live in the UK. There are many people who come to Cyprus from England. Direct flights would make an enormous contribution to us economically, and our competitiveness increases”.
The newspaper reported that the average income per capita in the south of Cyprus is £25,000 and in the north it is £15,000, the difference is caused by banking and tourism, but a new dimension had been added with the discovery of natural gas.
“We need to work for the future” Prime Minister Tatar told the newspaper. The rapprochement and federal solution negotiations that have been carried out for so many years have failed. We believe that we can solve this problem with a two-state solution”.
Tatar added that if an agreement is reached, North Cyprus is ready to reduce the amount of land it holds, from 36 to 30 percent, and that joint committees could be set up to manage natural gas.
Kibris News Agency